Ms. Catherine Prueitt

Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Program
Field of Specialization: Philosophy
Name: Ms. Catherine Prueitt  
Official Address: Emory University, Graduate
Indian Host Institution: Central University of Tibetan Studies,
Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Duration of Grant &
Start Date :
Duration: 9 months
October 2011

Brief Bio:
Ms. Catherine Prueitt is a Ph.D. student in the Religion department at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Here, she focuses on Indian philosophy and will write a dissertation on Yogācāra Buddhist and Kaśmiri Śaiva epistemology. She completed her B.A. in Religion from the University of Rochester. She reads Sanskrit and Tibetan. In 2009, she attended an intensive Sanskrit program in Pune, Maharashtra for three months. She has worked as a teaching assistant in various classes on South Asian religions at Emory University. She has delivered a number of papers at major conferences, such as the American Academy of Religion. She is interested in the relationship between language and experience, particularly as this relationship relates to contemplative practices aimed at experiencing the true nature of the mind. She is also interested in how insights gleaned from Indian epistemological traditions can advance current debates on the role of language in perception.
Since the relationship between language and experience forms a central wedge issue in debates between Yogācāra Buddhism and Kaśmiri Śaivism, an examination of the debate between their greatest thinkers, Dharmakirti (7th c.) and Abhinavagupta (10th-11th c.), provides trenchant insights into this still-contentious question. Ms. Prueitt's Fulbright-Nehru research titled as "Dialogical Accounts of Language and Experience in Yogacara and Kashmiri Saiva Epistemology," will be based on the study two epistemologies mentioned above and also their commentarial traditions in Varanasi with leading scholars of both traditions. Working with scholars in both traditions will allow her to draw out the full richness of this debate in a way that provides a dialogical account of multiple insights on a key epistemological question.